Poor Wolves fail at BurnleyBy: DJ | November 3rd, 2012
Wolves fell to defeat at Burnley after a performance that was lacking in defensive stability and creativity and was low on attacking ideas. Its 2 points out of the last 12 now and on this showing there will be more disappointments to come. Solbakken decided to play with the same starting 11 that had failed to inspire against Charlton last week;
Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward
Pennant, Henry, Doumbia, Sako
Ebanks Blake, Doyle
It was a dull first period with neither team threatening to score until Burnley found a way through the Wolves defence out of the blue after 18 minutes and promptly opened the scoring. Mee’s through ball sent Patterson through a gaping hole between Foley and Johnson and he scored confidently with only Ikeme to beat. The remainder of the half will have been a familiar watch to those who were at Molineux last week with Wolves playing the ball around at a pedestrian pace and never looking likely to open up the home defence.
When Johnson gave the ball away near his own area, Ikeme came to Wolves rescue with a point blank save. The back four were all looking vulnerable for Wolves with poor passing out of defence and only Berra looking solid in defence. Doumbia was doing ok ahead of the defence but the strikers were rarely in the game and Pennant was failing to produce on the right. The only brightness for Wolves in an attacking sense came from occasional bursts from Sako. And he almost conjured an equaliser three minutes before the break. After being sent through on the left of the area by Ward he cut back inside the defenders and hammered the ball across the face of the goal with the ball passing agonisingly between the far post and the in rushing Ebanks Blake.
The only change at the start of the second half saw Sako move to a more central role behind the strikers with Ward playing further forward on the left. But Burnley despite playing with only one up front were looking the more likely to add another goal. Johnson gave the ball away in his own half and Austin was able to get in a shot that was deflected for a corner. And when that corner was delivered, Burnley’s top scorer Austin had a free header to increase the lead. All the Wolves defenders were guilty of poor passing and Johnson almost gifted a third goal when his attempted clearance went straight to Austin on the edge of the area with Ikeme blocking the strikers shot.
Edwards and Forde replaced Johnson and Pennant as Solbakken tried to change things and the lineup for the last 20 miniutes was;
Foley, Doumbia, Berra
Forde, Henry, Sako, Edwards, Ward
Ebanks Blake, Doyle
Wolves did dominate possession late on as Burnley tried to sit on the lead but only Sako looked likely to open up the hosts. His free kick picked out the head of Ebanks Blake who should have done better than send a soft header straight at the keeper. Then in Wolves best attack of the game Sako beat two players before sending in a deflected shot from 25 yards that came back off the post and when SEB seemed to have a chance to turn in the rebound he trod on the ball which ran free to Doyle whose shot was saved.
Ikeme – his kicking wasn’t always good but made a couple of good saves and caught some dangerous crosses
Foley – not on his game today and struggled with his defending and distribution
Johnson – had a really poor game with some weak challenges and misplaced clearances
Berra – probably the best of the back four defensively but some very poor passing
Ward – struggled against his winger early on and made little impact when pushed further forward
Pennant – has been quite disappointing so far and this was his least effective performance since joining on loan
Henry – steady enough but not able to push into the more attacking role needed when Wolves were chasing the game
Doumbia – better than most in midfield before being moved into defence when Johnson was taken off. Did ok before he caught the bug and lost possession on the edge of his own area
Sako – far and away Wolves best player and its starting to feel that Wolves would offer very little attacking threat without him
Doyle – made a few runs from deep but made little impact. To be fair to him most of the passes to the strikers were high balls lumped forward that were food and drink to the Burnley centre backs
Ebanks Blake – did at least get into scoring positions a couple of times but wasn’t able to make the most of the chances
Forde – was at least positive with some runs late on
Edwards – no real impact in what had become a crowded midfield
Real food for thought here for Solbakken because Wolves look vulnerable defensively and lacking in numbers in the attacking third. The play is ponderous and at a pedestrian pace and suddenly they look a long way short of a team that could challenge for promotion. An unchanged team for Tuesday’s game at Hull looks unthinkable after this poor performance and it could be that the manager will give opportunities to the likes of Batth, Forde and Sigurdarsen in an effort to put some much needed life into the performances.